In a Rolling Stone interview, Gaiman said he leaked a script to the media of what he thought was a poor effort to bring The Sandman to film.
“I sent the script to Ain’t It Cool News, which back then was read by people,” Gaiman said. “And I thought, ‘I wonder what Ain’t It Cool News will think of the script that they’re going to receive anonymously. And they wrote a fabulous article about how it was the worst script they’d ever been sent. And suddenly, the prospect of that film happening went away.”
Jon Peters was working on the script.
“It was the worst script that I’ve ever read by anybody,” said Gaiman. “A guy in Jon Peters’ office phoned me up and he said, ‘So Neil, have you had a chance to read the script we sent you?’ And I said, ‘Well, yes. Yes, I did. I haven’t read all of it, but I’ve read enough.’ He says, ‘So, pretty good. Huh?’ And I said, ‘Well, no. It really isn’t.’ He said, ‘Oh, come on. There must have been stuff in there you loved.’ I said, ‘There was nothing in there I loved. There was nothing in there I liked. It was the worst script that I’ve ever read by anybody. It’s not just the worst ‘Sandman’ script. That was the worst script I’ve ever been sent.’”
Several other versions of The Sandman died before production. The rights were then sold to Netflix, which debuted t online earlier this month.